Semafor’s cofounder and editor-in-chief Ben Smith was accosted by Canada’s far-right Rebel News at the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, after Semafor bashed a video including a “lame” confrontation with a staffer from investment management company BlackRock.
In a video from Rebel News, the team was approached by a woman from BlackRock who asked them to vacate the parking spot they were blocking with their video setup. Rebel News refused to leave, creating a confrontation with the woman.
Semafor satirically critiqued the segment in their newsletter, writing, “The heroes of Canada’s far-right Rebel News posted a video of themselves bravely fending off a soft-spoken woman half their size asking them to move out of a parking space in front of a BlackRock sign.”
“They are truly ‘in the lion’s den.’ Thoughts and prayers,” the Semafor piece continued.
Rebel News’ Avi Yemini approached Smith outside of the forum asking, “Are you the one that was s—t talking about us the first day?”
This is the awkward moment I caught up with a globalist-funded and WEF accredited journalist after he spent his first day in Davos talking shit about Rebel News
I guess that’s the kind of ‘tough journalism’ the world expects from Semafor.
GET MORE: https://t.co/uvbDgOk19Npic.twitter.com/WJTgwCvdA2
— Avi Yemini (@OzraeliAvi) January 19, 2024
“Oh yeah, you guys had that very brave confrontation with the woman who was asking you to move from a parking space,” Smith replied sarcastically. “It was courageous and impressive.”
Smith continued, “I mean, that is the kind of tough journalism that I know the world expects from you. You were like, ‘we’re sticking it to them. We won’t let them move us!’”
“I thought it was a little lame, honestly,” the Semafor editor-in-chief said. “I’m sure you’ve had other more impressive confrontations with the globalist elite, that just happened to be the video I saw.”
Smith then attempted to remove himself from the conversation, saying that he would love to speak with Yemini another time.
“You know what’s more brave than what we did, is talking s—t about us without giving me a chance to respond,” Yemini said.
“You have a vast chance to respond,” Smith replied, referencing the entire video footage set-up. “I thought it was a silly stunt.”
Yemini pressed Smith on what he should have done instead, then asked what was clearly an attempt at a gotcha question: “Do you admit that BlackRock is super powerful?
“Of course,” Smith said, “but I think that you were trying to illustrate it in a silly way.”
After Smith walked away, Yemini continued talking, saying, “You make the decision: who’s more courageous, the one that stands up to BlackRock or the one that talks about the ones standing up to BlackRock, without giving him a right to reply?”
On Thursday, Semafor mentioned Rebel News in their coverage of Davos again, writing, “The Canadian populist outlet that ambushed attendees as they left the Congress Centre…more than anyone else, need Davos, which serves as a pillar of the conspiratorial politics of right-wing populism.”
“If Davos didn’t exist, the new right would have to invent it,” Smith wrote.